There are so
many different kinds of diapers and accessories, what are they all?
Prefolds – these are
squares of absorbent material with a thicker panel down the middle.
You fold and secure them yourself using pins or a snappi. Folding
them may require a bit of learning and research. These require a
cover and are one of the most cost effective forms of cloth
diapering. Abbreviations include CPF – chinese prefold and IPF
– indian prefold and they come bleached or unbleached.
Fitteds - These also require a
cover. These are diapers with elastic in the legs, back and sometimes
the front. Generally secured with snaps or velcro. May or may not
have a stay-dry lining.
Covers – Go
over prefolds and fitteds to keep your little ones clothes from
getting wet. Come made of various materials including PUL, fleece and
Pockets – Daddy and
babysitter friendly! These diapers have a stay-dry lining and a
waterproof outside so they do not require a cover. They have a pocket
where you stuff an insert thus
their absorbency is customizable. They are one of the more expensive
cloth diapering options. You must change the entire diaper, shell and
insert at each diaper change.
All-in-Ones – Just that,
all in one. Nothing extra required, just like a disposable but made
of cloth. These may not be enough for a heavy wetter as the absorbent
material is sewn in which also means they take a longer amount of
time to dry. Have a stay-dry lining to keep baby comfortable. One of
the more expensive cloth diapering options.
Inserts – These
are made of absorbent material such as microfiber, hemp or bamboo and
are used to stuff pocket diapers.
Doublers – Use
these for a little extra absorbency in prefolds or fitteds or add one
to a pocket to make it leak-free overnight. Generally made of
microfiber, hemp or bamboo.
Liners – There
are two kinds. Fleece liners which
are used in prefolds and fitteds that do not have a stay-dry lining
to keep baby dry. And disposable/flushable liners
which are placed in the diaper to catch solids and make diaper clean
up easy. Diaper Sprayers or spatulas also serve a similar purpose.
Pail Liners – these
go in the diaper pail to hold the dirty diapers until laundry day.
They are washed and dried with the diapers.
– these hold the dirty diapers while you are out and about.
Simply take off the dirty diaper and place it in the wet bag, add
both to the diaper pail when you get home and wash as normal.
diapers do I need? What about everything else?
It depends on how
often you want to wash and how old your baby is. Newborns go through
more diapers in a day than an older child does so take that into
consideration. A good starting point for a newborn is 24-36 diapers
and 24 for an older child to allow you to wash every second day.
will need 1-2 pail liners (so you can have one in the wash and one to
use), a wetbag or two for going out and 12-36 cloth wipes.
What do you
suggest for newborns?
a little bit of everything if you are just starting out. Try one or
two of each thing you are interested in to see what you like (this is
a good rule for older babies too). Since newborns grow so fast and go
through so many diapers in those early weeks, prefolds and covers are
an affordable option. I loved XS Thirsties products on my son as a
newborn. The gussets keep the messes in SO well! You will find that
one-size options are a little bulky at this age but they will grow
into them quickly.
What do I do
with the dirty diapers?
After taking the
diaper off your child put a wet diaper straight into the diaper pail.
Breastfed babies poop can be put directly into the pail, it is water
soluble and will come out in the wash. A diaper sprayer or spatula
will come in handy to remove poop of babies eating solids or formula.
Simply remove the poop into the toilet and put the diaper into the
How do I wash
the diapers through a cold rinse first then wash on hot with ¼
the recommended amount of detergent followed by two cold rinses. You
may dry them in the dryer on medium or on the line, in or outside. If
using the dryer do not use dryer sheets.
What kind of
detergent should I use?
a detergent free of enzymes, brighteners and perfumes to wash your
diapers. These can cause your diapers to repell and leak. Clear and
free detergents are generally OK to use. Dreft is NOT good for
diapers. Do not use any fabric softeners. Pinstripes and Polka Dots
has a comprehensive list of which detergents are OK to use: